Summer has arrived, and with the season comes fresh foods in abundance: delicious tomatoes, peaches, corn, strawberries, squash and zucchini, and everything else you need to achieve that perfect summer cookout. It's no wonder that more people feel drawn to the kitchen at this time of year; there's a lot of magic in putting together a meal and feeding someone, whether that someone is yourself or a loved one.
There's also literal magick in that kitchen, if you're a kitchen witch.
What is a Kitchen Witch?
Well, there are two definitions of the kitchen witch.
The first is a small poppet kept in the kitchen or hung over the sink, a longtime Scandinavian tradition––typically, Norwegian––to bring good luck to a household. You might have seen pictures of these kitchen witch dolls online, or perhaps your family had one growing up. Nevertheless, we're less interested in the good-luck tradition of these Norwegian kitchen witches as we are in the second kind of kitchen witch: the living, human kind.
The practice of kitchen witchcraft, fondly called "kitchen witchery," has been growing in recent years, along with other types of magickal practitioners (like green witches and white witches, for example). Unlike other witchy practices, kitchen witchcraft doesn't require tarot cards or full moon rituals or a grimoire, so it's an appealing choice for beginners for someone interested in expanding their spiritual rituals and routines. Much of kitchen witchery consists of stuff you already have to do daily: cooking and cleaning. Why not add some magic(k) to the routine, if you have the opportunity?
Kitchen Magic 101
So if kitchen witchcraft is the same chores you do every day around the house, what makes it... well, special? Since this brand of practical magic is all about the hearth and home, you might as well start by reframing your work around the house as a form of care for yourself and your loved ones, rather than an obligation you have to keep up with. Kitchen witches (like house witches and hedge witches) choose to center their magickal practice in the home because it's a site of protection, love, family, and connectedness.
In other words, if you want to be a kitchen witch, your space should embody your intentions––and that means tapping into your nesting instinct. Like interior designers, modern witches believe that everything (and we mean everything––objects, spaces, people, plants, etc.) carries its own energy. So if your space isn't a relaxing or joyful place to be for you––if you associate your home or kitchen with negative energies––it's going to be difficult to set intentions and manifest them there.
Not exactly satisfied with your home decor right now? Choose one or two new home accessories, something that (to quote Marie Kondo) "sparks joy" in you, and place them in or near the kitchen, something that inspires you as you chop, cook, and bake. Might we suggest a kitchen witch doll, an essential oils diffuser for aromatherapy, a cast-iron skillet to double as a small cauldron, or a well-placed carnelian crystal to inspire your culinary creativity?
Add Some Magick to Your Celebrations
Break out your recipe book and wooden spoon, because it's time to add some practical magic to your cooking––and, by association, the next summer potluck.
Whether your celebrations this summer look like a romantic picnic, a cookout for the whole family, or a dinner party with close friends, there's bound to be a bit of magic in the air after such a long year (and more).
You can practice kitchen witchery easily just by choosing your recipes and ingredients (especially fresh herbs and spices) with mindfulness. Think of kitchen witchcraft as herbalism for the spirit; the same way herbology studies the medicinal effects of plants and herbs on the human body, kitchen magic studies the spiritual effects of vegetables and herbs in order to cook with them.
Who Are You Cooking For, and Why?
Before you can choose the perfect recipe to add a little magick to your next celebration, think more about the people you're celebrating with than the actual celebration itself. Not only their dietary restrictions or allergies, of course, but also their comfort around bringing magic––even practical magic or simple "good luck" superstitions––into the food they're going to eat.
In other words, we have to talk about the ethics of getting witchy in the kitchen. If you want to make cooking part of your magical practice, and you also plan to serve that food when entertaining, it's only fair that you consider the other people who will eat it. After all, you're serving them. That's kind of the point.
A main rule of thumb? Don't make someone food with a specific intention behind it unless they have specifically asked. Baking a "dump your boyfriend" cake for a friend who could do so much better isn't ethical, because you're not taking her opinions and feelings into the matter––even if she could "do better," she's chosen to stick with That Guy, and you have to respect that. It would be unethical to use your magical practice with the intent (however unconscious) to influence someone else's decisions.
However. Baking your friend a cake for your long-awaited, post-vaccination dinner, with the broad, abstract intentions of good health and good luck behind it? That's fine, since you're not making magic with a specific intent in mind.
As long as you choose your ingredients and get cooking with intentions that are open to individual interpretation, you're good. (A good witch, even.)
So what are you waiting for?